The Electric Ford-150 Can Tow Some Serious Weight
Take a few minutes to lift your jaws back upby Sidd Dhimaan, on LISTEN 09:57
Have you heard about the heavyweight lifting competition going on in the truck segment? Until last year, the Super Duty and Heavy Duty trucks from Ford, Ram, and Chevy were leading the way by towing in the ballpark of 35,000 pounds. However, the wonder boy, Elon Musk, swatted these figures by announcing on Twitter that the upcoming Tesla pickup truck will be able to tow 300,000 pounds. This, obviously, sent everyone into a frenzy because such a figure was unheard of. But, it looks like this hurt Ford’s ego and the company released a video of its upcoming Ford F-150 electric pickup truck and its towing capability. The latest creation from Ford can tow more than one million pounds! Yes, you read that right. How’s that spank, Tesla?
That Blew Our Minds Away?
Ford had been tight-lipped about its upcoming electric truck. Prototypes were spotted with an electric powertrain and Ford has managed to keep the details under wraps quite well. Ford is getting attacked from all ends and it is done playing the defense now. To fend off the attacks one-by-one, Ford has targeted the Tesla pickup truck first. Other than the surprising price tag, Tesla pickup truck has been in news for its towing capacity of 300,000 pounds. So, Ford decided to take this on by releasing a video showing a Ford electric F-150 pickup prototype and its towing prowess.
To make this look realistic and attack the customer base, Ford invited a group of hard-working, F-150 owners who use this primarily as a work truck. You can see 42 standard F-150s lined up beside 10 rail cars; 42 to show its dominance in the segments over the same number of years. Ford F-150’s chief engineer, Linda Zhang, introduces the folks to the electric F-150 and says the truck will pull the 10 rail cars which weigh around one million pounds cumulatively. The truck pulls the rail cars effortlessly, leaving everyone in awe. She then says all the 42 F-150s will be loaded into the rail cars and then pull them again. The truck actually did, even though the weight now was 1.25 million pounds!
Until now, the heaviest thing pulled by an electric vehicle was perhaps a Qantas Boeing 787 weighing 286,600 pounds, which was pulled by a Tesla Model X in 2018.
A Ford Truck 1.25 Million Pounds From Its Previous Best Of 35,000 Pounds Is No Joke
This experiment is best-suited to a documentary and is not a viable option in real-world conditions. How long can the battery pull such massive weight? But it sure is a huge step moving forward and will play a huge role in the electric F-150’s future. The video has served its purpose completely, and I’m sure the current F-150 owners will look to upgrade to this truck.
Electric motors have the ‘superpower’ to deliver instant torque in a smooth fashion right from a standstill; something that internal combustion engines don’t.
The problem, however, will be the available range when the truck is towing such big loads. But, that is not the problem at hand right now and we’re just nit-picking. By the time the truck is launched, the battery technology will evolve to unthinkable levels and Ford won’t be stupid to launch it with a battery pack that cannot complement its towing capabilities. Also, if need be, the batteries could be charged at the job sites as there’s generally no shortage of generators.
Competition Is Bringing Out The Best In All Of Them
Ford has been ruling the pickup segment for over four decades now and is the most dominant figure here. The automaker sold more than 1 million F-Series trucks globally in 2018, averaging a sale every 29.3 seconds. Companies like GM and Ram have tried their best to trump the Blue Oval, but have failed miserably. However, it is unlikely that this kind of domination will happen in case of electric trucks. When you talk about electric vehicles, Tesla is the first name that comes to mind. The minute Tesla announced its intentions of developing an electric truck, it had announced a war. But I believe the mainstream automakers, especially Ford, will come back strong, a precursor of which we saw in this video.
Ford needed a piece of big news like this to make an impact. Rivian and Tesla have been in the limelight for a long time and the undisputed truck-champion decided to leave a mark in the e-truck segment.
Ford is not really known for its presence in the EV segment, but this should change it.
The F-Series is the bread and butter for Ford and the company, with this video, made sure Tesla and Rivian stay warned. While the Rivian follows a completely different philosophy - focused on adventure lifestyle, the Tesla truck may not follow those footsteps. Elon Musk has already announced that the Tesla pickup truck will be offered with a starting price under $50,000. We haven’t seen the Tesla truck yet, but the Rivian truck has made its presence felt. And, from the initial impressions, there’s nothing to not like about it. Rivian took the world by storm when it announced that it will come with a travel range of 400 miles, and can zoom from a standstill to 60 mph in three seconds. If speed thrills you, you know where to look. However, the towing and payload capacity is rated at 11,000 pounds and 1,760 pounds respectively, that is nowhere close to Musk’s claimed capacity for the Tesla truck. It will be priced around the six-digit figure for the mid-level trims.
A couple of months back when the two startups were busy hogging all the attention, Ford promised that the truck will offer better towing and payload ratings and will also be high on the performance aspect. Well, one of those things got covered in this video. What’s the next big thing?
Tesla has announced that its pickup truck can tow up to 300,000 pounds.
With these credentials, Ford had to do the unthinkable before prospective customers wander off, and it just did. The 1.25 million-pound figure is four times more than what Tesla claimed for its pickup truck! Interestingly, both these companies have not announced a launch date. With the kind of lead Tesla had in this e-truck war, people expected Tesla to launch its truck first. But all we have are a few renderings and private builds like the Truckla. Tesla has been a pioneer in EVs, and it will maintain this stance even in case of pickup trucks, but it better act soon. Tesla has also been giving its 100-percent into building electric powertrains, unlike Ford which has a variety of six different combustion engines just for the F-150! So, it goes unsaid that Ford does not have the expertise of Tesla when it comes to electric powertrains. The Blue Oval is spending millions of dollars in Research and Development right now, and it won’t be able to contain costs unless it begins volume production.
Critical Times Ahead For Ford
There’s no word on when the electric Ford F-150 will be launched, but the only thing we know is that Ford has "confirmed it is bringing an electric F-150 to market." Just to be clear, this is a different truck from what Ford and Rivian have announced as their lovechild, that is part of the $500 million deal that Ford invested in Rivian. There is no news on that product yet, but I believe Ford will borrow some technologies from the collaborated product and use it in the production version of the electric F-150. But before all that Ford needs to deal with a class-action lawsuit filed against it for overstating the fuel efficiency of the 2018 and 2019 F-150, as well as the 2019 Ford Ranger trucks. The suit alleges that Ford "deliberately miscalculated and misrepresented factors used in vehicle certification testing in order to report that its vehicles used less fuel and emitted less pollution than they actually did. The certification test-related cheating centers on the "Coast Down" testing and "Road Load" calculations."
If you talk about Ford’s other investments, the company is realigning its workforce and investing $11 billion by 2022 in electric and hybrid vehicles.
Ford recently announced it was teaming up with Volkswagen on electric and autonomous vehicles. The German is investing $2.6 billion on Ford’s AV effort, and Ford will gain access to the German giant’s electric vehicle MEB platform, which Ford will use to design and build at least one high-volume fully electric vehicle in Europe starting in 2023.
What They Had To Say
Speaking on the electric F-150 prototype’s one million-pound test, Ted Cannis, Global Director of Electrification for Ford Motor Company, said, “This demonstration showcases our commitment to remain the clear leader in trucks as well as to highlight our commitment to the future of electric vehicles. We’ve already announced plans to bring an F-150 hybrid to market that can act as a mobile generator.”
As for the future of the electric vehicles, he added, “I’m all in on EVs. Climate change … you had me at hello. But what we’re doing here is not just about air quality or rising sea level. We are all about building better trucks for our customers who have real work to do every day. Trucks that can do more for our owners. Trucks that meet new sets of needs. Because leaders lead”.
Will all that said and done, Ford is finally back into the driver’s seat after Tesla and Rivian caused a scare. But, this is far from over, and we cannot wait to see how the next chapter unfolds. On a different note, what the hell is that tow strap made up of? It took the freaking 1.25 million-pound weight without snapping. Ford better add it to the official accessories list already! What are your thoughts on this truck? Share them with us in the comments section below.
Read our full review on the 2018 Ford F-150.
Read our full speculative review on the 2020 Tesla Pickup.
Read our full review on the 2020 Rivian R1T Pickup.